Archives for Grief and Mourning

Anger and Hatred

Emotional Ownership in Parenting in “Rachel Getting Married”

In Rachel Getting Married (2008), Anne Hathaway plays Kym, who is released from rehab in order to go to her sister Rachel’s wedding, which takes place at the home of her father, Paul and step-mother, Carol.

The particular scene I’ve chosen illustrates what happens when a parent doesn’t or won’t acknowledge her feelings and/or proper share of accountability and responsibility, in today's terms "owning her own stuff."  The child is then left...
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Death and Dying

Terrence Malick’s ‘The Tree of Life’: Consolation for the Grieving Process


Terrence Malick's latest film, The Tree of Life, comes out this week on DVD. Beginning with its opening quotation from The Book of Job, through its 15-minute visual history of the universe, to its cryptic ending, this is a film that invites questions about "meaning" as well as the writer/director's intent.

Admirers and critics have written extensively about the film's "message" -- search the Internet and you'll find hundreds of comments that describe...
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Family Dynamics

Exploring (S)mothering in “Terms of Endearment”

In this next series of posts, I’m going to take scenes from a number of films to explore various aspects of mother-daughter relationships. It can be helpful to take stock of how we were mothered, how we’ve complied with and/or rebelled against the woman who raised us (or was supposed to and didn’t). Also it is useful to identify the beliefs and messages that get handed down to us,...
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Death and Dying

Exploring the Empty Nest in “The Kids Grow Up”

“Always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question” ~ cummings

Like many good films, books or conversations, independent filmmaker Doug Block’s The Kids Grow Up can stimulate our own self-inquiry, leading us to ask ourselves questions about where we are with the topic presented. More than supplying answers, these kinds of works elicit personal examination, much as Block did in his excellent documentary, 51...
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General

Love Lost and Creativity at the Movies (Part II)

In Part I, I wrote about ideas of lost love and creativity; here are some film examples of these ideas.

Facing Windows (Italian, 2003): Giovanna finds her creative passion, becoming a pastry chef, after realizing that the neighbor she’s idealized and desired for so long is not the answer to her discontent and yearning.

500 Days of Summer (2009): Tom has been blocked creatively for years, writing Hallmark-type cards for a living...
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General

Love Lost and Creativity at the Movies (Part I)

Certain films point to the creativity that can follow in the aftermath of an impeded, unrequited or lost love, or simply a love that just doesn’t work out.

Sometimes a juncture is reached in a relationship in which it can go no further, whether through death, divorce, rejection, betrayal, circumstance or choice. There are various ways we can react to such loss and grief. We can be in denial, numb out, avoid...
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Anger and Hatred

Wholeness vs. Goodness: Pleasantville (Part II)

In Part I, we saw big changes in Pleasantville, now: the Mayor tries to regain control of the situation by organizing a town hall meeting. He represents the fascistic part of our Super-Ego clinging on to old value systems for dear life by rallying defense mechanisms.

This part rejects, banishes, and excludes those aspects of ourselves that bring up unwanted painful and shameful emotions in order to keep things...
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General

Exploring the Shadow: The Unlived Life in “Man on the Train” (Part I)

[Part 1 of a 4-part series on the Shadow in film]
In this series, we will be looking at four diverse films, illustrating various aspects of the Shadow.

The Shadow is whatever is unconscious, repressed, unlived or hidden in our psyches. One of the purposes of depth psychology is to “bring to light” these aspects of ourselves so that we can digest and integrate them, and so...
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Grief and Mourning

Unbearable Grief in Rabbit Hole (2010)

Rabbit Hole' (2010), starring Aaron Eckhart (Howie Corbett) and Nicole Kidman (Becca Corbett) in her Academy Award-nominated role, tells a story of  devastating grief and the ways we attempt to escape from such unbearable emotions.

Eight months before the film opens, Becca and Howie's young son Danny was killed when he chased their dog into the street and a teenage driver ran him down.   As a couple, Howie and Becca have not yet come to emotional...
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